On May 18, 1980, student activists gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to protest the coup d’état and the martial law government of General Chun Doo-hwan. The security forces responded with unmitigated violence. Over the next ten days hundreds of students, activists, and citizens were arrested, tortured, and murdered. The events of the uprising shaped over a decade of resistance to the repressive South Korean regime and paved the way for the country’s democratization.
This fresh translation by Slin Jung of a text compiled from eyewitness testimonies presents a gripping and comprehensive account of both the events of the uprising and the political situation that preceded and followed the violence of that period. Included is a preface by acclaimed Korean novelist Hwang Sok-yong.
Gwangju Uprising is a vital resource for those interested in East Asian contemporary history and the global struggle for democracy.